Can a gorilla safari be arranged last minute? Gorilla trekking safaris in Africa require presenting a valid gorilla permit, license that permits intending trekkers to venture into the lush jungles to find these endangered mountain gorillas and without it, it is and will never be possible to undertake these treks. It is undisputable fact that gorilla trekking is one of the most thrilling, popular and fulfilling wildlife experiences in the African Continent, much as it is also considered costly. Its costliness is mainly attributed to the fact that it is every visitor’s dream and the giant apes need to be protected from any stress and possibilities of diseases that will lead to their extinction. A total of 8 gorilla permits are issued for every habituated gorilla group on a daily basis hence the demand for these permits is usually higher than the supply, hence it is recommended to always book for gorilla safaris at least 4-6 months in advance.
However, some circumstances can be unavoidable and abrupt; hence, last minute bookings are required. If you ever find yourself stuck and interested in booking last minute gorilla safari, just reach us and we shall make it happen. For Uganda, valid gorilla trekking permits are acquired from Uganda Wildlife Authority or credible Tour Operators and have to be booked at least 4-6 months in advance given the high demand during peak seasons.
Booking for gorilla permits on last minute is undeniably cumbersome and in most cases, there is no availability. Uganda Wildlife Authority has to be contacted immediately to check for permits availability and you might be lucky to get in one of the four sectors (Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga) or better still in the nearby Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. At this point, you have limited choices in deciding what sector/region to trek the mountain gorillas because you will go with what is available.
In most cases, last minute gorilla permits lead visitors to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the 33.7-square kilometer Protected Area that shelters only one habituated gorilla group known as Nyakagezi.
Another popular way of booking last minute Gorilla Safaris is contacting other tour operators within the country. An online system was introduced by Uganda Wildlife Authority in 2016 authorizing specific Tour Operators to check availability and book for gorilla permits in Uganda without going through UWA Head offices. Before this system was developed, Tour Operators would be required to reach out to Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices via telephone, email or physically which was costly and time consuming.
During that time, there was no hope of holding gorilla permits for one week as it is now the case hence issuing of these permits was on first come, first serve basis. In so doing, it became difficult to get immediate response and therefore many visitors missed their golden chances of trekking gorillas.
Best time to undertake last minute gorilla safaris
Gorilla Safaris can be undertaken all year round but the best time to undertake these adventures in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks or Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is months of January, February, June, July, August, September and December. These are dry months and experience little or no rain hence more comfortable/or favorable for gorilla treks in Uganda and Rwanda.
The heavy downpours experienced in the wet months of March, April, May, October and November make trekking trails and park roads muddy, slippery and more challenging for gorilla treks.